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Ranking predictor: Why are Nadal and Djokovic good options for Rome?

Make your predictions!

May 06, 2024

ATP Tour

By Staff

The fifth ATP Masters 1000 event of the season is here. The sport’s biggest stars are heading to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, where plenty of points are up for grabs in the PIF ATP Rankings.

Novak Djokovic is back in action, Rafael Nadal continues to regain his form and Daniil Medvedev is the defending champion.

Before each tournament week, analyzes three players who could be good picks for fans in the PIF ATP Rankings Predictor.

Make your selections!

Rafael Nadal – defending 0 points
Nadal may not yet be back to his world-class best. But if a 22-time major champion is available for selection in the Predictor with no points to defend, chances are he’s a good player to pick.

It also helps that Nadal has triumphed in Rome a record 10 times and has posted a 69-8 record in the tournament. In 18 previous appearances, he has played in the championship game 12 times.

This will be only Nadal’s fourth tournament since the 2023 Australian Open. However, the southpaw, who will play a first-round qualifying match, showed signs of progress in Madrid, where he unseated world No. 11 Álex de Miñaur , against whom he lost the previous week in Barcelona.

Novak Djokovic – defending 180 points
The World No. 1 hasn’t competed since Monte Carlo, but that could work in his favor heading into the final ATP Masters 1000 event of the clay court season. The Serbian will be fresh and hungry for games.

A year ago, Djokovic reached the quarterfinals at the Foro Italico, so he defends 180 points. He has a record of 67-11 in Rome, where he last lifted the trophy six times. The 36-year-old has never lived up to the tournament quarterfinals.

Djokovic may not have a title yet this season, but he has reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open and Monte Carlo. He will try to advance further in Italy, where he will begin his tournament against Roman Safiullin or a qualifier.

Grigor Dimitrov – losing 0 points
Quietly, Dimitrov has been putting together his best season since 2017, when he captured glory at the Nitto ATP Finals.

The Bulgarian is 22-7 in 2024, including his title in Brisbane and his great level that took him to the finals in Marseille and Miami. Since he defends 0 points, he has many points to gain over the next fortnight.

Dimitrov, ninth in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin, reached the semi-finals of this event in 2014 and the quarter-finals in 2020. He will open his tournament against Yoshihito Nishioka or Sebastian Ofner.

Bonus Ball: Rafael Nadal
Why select Nadal as your Bonus Ball and not Djokovic? There is no risk.

That does not mean that Djokovic will not win his seventh title at the Foro Italico. But as the Serbian defends 180 points, he will need to advance at least to the quarterfinals to add positive points.

Nadal has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Combine that with his record in Rome and his improving form, the 36-time Masters 1000 champion can earn fans plenty of points in the PIF ATP Rankings Predictor this week.


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